BUA Group has been commended by the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) for its investment in the Nigeria sugar industry. Latif Busari, the executive secretaryof the council made the commendation at the maiden conference of the Sugarcane Technologies Society of Nigeria (STSN) in Abuja.
Busari who said the NSDC was committed to achieving self-reliance in sugar development as contained in the sugar development masterplan for the country, expressed satisfaction with the progress at BUA Group’s integrated sugar mill in Kwara State saying such effort should be emulated by other players.
“With the pace at which BUA Group is going with its Sugar mill in Kwara state, we are quite confident that the backward integration plans to raise local sugar production to attain self-sufficiency, create large number of employment opportunities and to contribute to production of ethanol and generation of electricity are realistic and achievable in the shortest possible time”, he said.
He also commended BUA’s integrated sugar plantation in Lafiagi which has an ethanol production plant capacity of 20 million liters per annum, generate 35megawatt of electricity both for factory and national grid consumption and refined 200,000 metric tonnes of sugar annually.
Speaking on the “Challenges of emerging sugar companies in meeting the sugar demand of Nigeria”,Kabiru Rabiu, the group executive director, BUA Group, identified huge capital cost, conflicts in land acquisition, insecurity, infrastructure deficit, water and environmental issues, lack of synergy among regulatory agencies and skill deficit as key factors militating against the growth of the Sugar industry and called the Federal Government to double its efforts in addressing these deficiencies.
Kabiru furthermore noted that the US$300 millionintegrated LASUCO Sugar Company in Lafiagi,Kwaraupon completion in 2020will be the biggest integrated Sugar plantation in Nigeria.
According to Kabiru, “the FG through the NSDC can help by the creation of Sugar Hubs, Sugar sector Intervention Fund, Infrastructure Gap Bridging, direct Land Acquisition, synergy among various Stakeholders and building capacity among the industry regulators”.